COMMISSION ON RACIAL AND ETHNIC FAIRNESS
CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Law & Justice Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
11:30am - 1:00pm
Judge Tyrone Medley
David Gomez for Mike Chabries
heriff Brad Slater
Judge Bill Thorne
1. WELCOME, REVIEW OF MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING, & AGENDA REVIEW:
Lunch was served. Justice Zimmerman called the meeting to order. The minutes from Meeting
#8 and Retreat were approved without further amendment.
- Follow-up discussion from Division of Youth Correction's May presentation:
members felt it was a good presentation, well-facilitated, and informative
discussion of Task Force recommendations directed toward the Department of Child and
Family Services (DCFS) and differentiating this Commission's analyses of civil justice
beyond criminal justice:
Do we need to revise the recommendations, ask DCFS to present and/or provide
a written report of their processes, etc? The recommendation (#17 Research)
spawned from researching the effects of socio-economic status in addition to and
compared with race. It also stemmed from the tendency by caseworkers to
transfer youth from DCFS into the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC) due to
more resources at DYC. However, that pushes youth further into the system.
Action Item: Ed McConkie will talk with DCFS to check the status of their
implementation and processes. Ed will report to Commission if DCFS shall either
present or write update.
2. ACTION ITEMS (Michael Zimmerman)
- Retreat Outcomes: Retreat went well, recognize high enthusiasm, additional buy-in
- Annual Report: Letter & disc sent to each Agency director. Please respond by
September 16, 2002. These Agency Response documents will be used for the writing of
the Annual Report and will actually be included in the report as appendices.
The Annual Report is anticipated to look like:
Highlights of systemwide and agency implementation
Description of Subcommittees and current Commission work
Plans for 2003
The timeline for completion is estimated to be:
09/16/02 Agency Response documents due
Writing and assembly of Annual Report by
11/15/02 Draft of Report to Commission members for comment
12/01/02 Submissions for changes due
12/31/02 Final Report completed
01/01/03 Current Leadership presents report
- Leadership 2002: Nominations from the Operations Committee will be forwarded at the
September 25, 2002 Commission meeting.
3. PRESENTATION ON THE SALT LAKE LEGAL DEFENDER ASSOCIATION
IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS (David Biggs):
David Biggs (Commission member, Associate Director of SLLDA) and Vivian Patterson
(Assistant to the Director & Associate Director, SLLDA) gave a PowerPoint Presentation
describing SLLDA and its Task Force implementation process. Please refer to the hard copy in
your meeting materials.
Noted from the PowerPoint presentation:
- SLLDA is 40 yrs old
- Public Defense attorneys outside of the Wasatch Front are all part-time and on yearly
contracts. Wasatch Front public defenders are full-time.
- The Board does not consist solely of attorneys. In fact, the majority are not attorneys.
- At SLLDA, the caseload is ~200 cases/attorney. A national organization states that a
legal defender should not have more than 100 cases.
- They are currently working on judicial concerns of the difficulty in reaching (connecting
with) public defense attorneys
- In SLC, 85% of those charged with criminal felonies use SLLDA. Shows correlation
between crime & socio-economic status
- Questions surrounded plea bargaining rates; public v private comparisons; complaint
processes; quality assurance; perceptions, myths, and realities; many questions about the
Indigent Defense Review Council recommendation #9 in Research section.
- Racial and Ethnic fairness seems to go hand-in-hand with Legal Defenders. It is
a belief system that attracts the employees, not money. SLLDA has a core of
attorneys with 20+ years tenure.
4. PRESENTATION ON THE STATEWIDE ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC ATTORNEYS
IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS (Paul Boyden):
Paul Boyden (Commission member, Executive Director of SWAP) presented a description of
SWAP and its Task Force implementation process. Please refer to the Agency Response
document in your meeting materials.
Noted from the presentation:
- Prosecuting attorneys have concern about those cases that they never see. For instance,
the misdemeanor cases, where no attorneys are involved/present, there is a concern that
people of color plead guilty to all counts because it is "the honorable thing to do", unlike
those with background knowledge of the legal system and politics. Concern is with
individual reactions to the system.
- IDRC: state funding will not be there. There would be more success at the local level
where attorneys have connections with council members. County attorneys are the
strongest link to maintain quality.
- Funding is available for 'unusual prosecution costs', which can pay for prosecution costs
throughout the state
- SWAP is based in the District Attorneys' Offices, much of Paul's position consists of
lobbying and serving on various committees throughout the Courts.
- SWAP has put extensive time and effort into the Hate Crimes laws. There is a tendency
to mix up goals with means. High opposition, considered to be due to the inclusion of
gays/ lesbians in the protected classes. However, the legislation must be inclusive to be
effective and not hypocritical. Accepting one form of discrimination validates all
- SWAP has formed a Racial and Ethnic Fairness Committee that continues to work on
recruitment, retention, and training.
- Issues confronted by SWAP: how to do the research, who will do it, and what will we do
with the results? All are impacted by budget and priority realities.
- Questions surrounded the IDRC, Hate Crimes legislation
5. ANNOUNCEMENTS (Michael Zimmerman)
- Keith Hamilton has requested that members try to attend a Board Hearing prior to the
September meeting. If you attend hearings conducted by Keith, please contact him prior.
He will give you background information on the individuals to give you a clearer idea of
the full process for Board members.
- Commission Subcommittees will report progress at each Operations Committee meeting.
- Research Subcommittee met prior to this meeting
- Outreach/Employment Recruitment Subcommittee conducted its first Focus
Group following this meeting. Special thank you to the volunteer participants, as
well as the Utah Sheriff's Association and the Department of Public Safety for
their coordination assistance.
- Annual Report Subcommittee met following this meeting
- Community Involvement Subcommittee meets 09/03/02
- Indigent Defense Subcommittee met 08/27/02
- John Adams and the Utah State Bar announced the Dialogue on Freedom program and
handed out copies of the educational supplement. John asks that you spread the word
and encourage your colleagues and constituents to participate. Please refer to your email
for more information (sent 08/28/02)
- Joan Smith and the National Conference for Community and Justice handed out fliers for
the Walk and Concert for Freedom, Diversity and Remembrance (co-sponsored by Salt
Lake City). Joan asks that you spread the word and encourage your colleagues and
constituents to participate. Please refer to your email for more information (sent
6. NEXT MEETING DETAILS
- The next Commission meeting will be on Wednesday September 25, 2002
- 11:30am - 1:00pm
- at the Law & Justice Center
- Highlighting and hosted by the Board of Pardons and Parole
7. ADJOURNMENT: (Michael Zimmerman)
- There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 1:15p.m.
- Special thank you to David Biggs and Vivian Patterson for their hospitality and